New fire HQ in State Budget

The Bundaberg Fire and Rescue Service Station will have a new home after funding was announced in the State Budget for a new building.
The Bundaberg Fire and Rescue Service Station will have a new home after funding was announced in the State Budget for a new building. Zach Hogg BUN030614FRE1

AFTER more than 50 years of responding to call-outs from their Woongarra St base, the Bundaberg Queensland Fire and Emergency Service is set to have a new home.

Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls announced $1 million had been set aside in the 2014-15 State Budget for the new $5.1 million state-of-the-art fire station, expected to be completed by 2016.

It forms part of the $35.36 million of new funds allocated to Bundaberg for the next financial year.

Member for Bundaberg and Community Safety Minister Jack Dempsey said the first $1 million would go towards securing a piece of land for the new fire station, expected to be a rectangular block along Verdant Siding Rd, off Goodwood Rd.

"It's an improved facility to meet the future growth needs of Bundaberg," he said.

Mr Dempsey said at this stage the government was considering a coexist model, whereby the new ambulance station - which has been allocated $500,000 this budget - would be housed on the same block.

"They still might be standalone facilities on the one site," he said.

He said an upgraded facility was something firefighters had been campaigning for.

"The beauty of it is both the ambulance and fire stations will be well and truly high and dry," he said.

"We've tested the response time frames and that fits in perfectly with the location."

Mr Dempsey said other budget highlights for Bundaberg was the Safe Night Out Strategy to address alcohol-fuelled violence.

"Bundaberg is recognised as a safe night out precinct and we'll be receiving some of the $44.5 million announced for the state," he said.

He also highlighted that there were no new taxes introduced and concessions had gone up 9%.

"We were severely let down by the Federal Government in relation to the $50 million cut from its budget," he said.

"While the Federal Government's concessions have decreased, the state's have increased."

Mr Nicholls said this year's budget included a capital spend of almost $720 million in the Wide Bay region.

"More than $250 million is being provided for local government recovery and reconstruction projects in partnership with the Federal Government," he said.

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